Wednesday, December 17, 2008

niches, and right paths

Recently I embarked on a new direction for my illustration. Licensing. As an art student in the 80's, I didn't have any coursework that dealt with the business opportunities of an illustrator. My college was sadly lacking in supporting Illustrators. Therefore I have spent the last 20 years trying different angles. I am not sure I have found my niche, but for now I am on a trajectory of creating work to license and I will continue until I hit my head against the wall a few too many times. How will I know when I have gone the wrong way? I don't really know. 

I read Seth Godin's blog and was happy to read his post several days ago. The main premise was that everyone who 'makes it big' has put in 10,000 hours of effort into their desired field. He debunks this theory with some good examples of people who had great ideas, great timing and generous amounts of good luck. However I am nearing my 10,000 hours so I am feeling pretty good right about now. Which brings me to how his post relates to my knowing when I have gone the right direction, his book, 'The Dip'.  This book delves into the mental science of quitting. Knowing when you hit a dead end, and when you just hit the 'dip' and need to keep on pushing to the promised land on the other side. Of course no book is the magic pill to success, except for maybe the author and publisher, but for most of us, they are tools to help us, nothing more. My hope as that this too will help me to decide if I am on the right track.

A great example of someone who I think has explored their art, and hit full stride, is Yulia Brodskaya. I think these beautiful paper sculptures are a great illustration of finding your path. If you look through the Graphic Design portfolio, or the Typographic, general and old stuff portfolio you can see the evolution of a niche.  

As we approach the new year, I find myself taking inventory. I am entering 2009 not unlike years past venturing into new territory, but each time I do, I evolve. I bring my newly acquired experience, my past knowledge and I take a deep breathe. Cheers to being able to reinvent, cheers to freedom to try, cheers to being blessed an artist.

No comments: